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Review your own SEO

Author: Ben Jeffery

If you want to get more visitors from search engines but don't know where to start, we can help you find the opportunities for improvement. We also provide a free website review if you want us to do the work. This article will help you to make your website more relevant for search terms, increase links to your website, and improve the conversion of visitors to customers.

SEO (search engine optimisation) Review: Get the right search terms

When someone searches for your product or service online, your position is partly based on how that search term is used on your web pages. This is not just a case of including lots of search terms in every page, but making each page relevant for a particular search term or subject.

To get started, search Google for "" and ask yourself:

Are the page titles (the blue underlined headline) using search terms relevant to your business?
Is each page targeting a different search term?
Do the page URLs use real words, e.g. /myproduct.html is better than /shop/?id=1234
Are all your pages listed and do all the links work?

If anyone of the answers are no, that's what you need to work on. We recommend allocating a search term to each page and using it in the page URL, title, description, keywords and body content including headings, bold text and links. For example if your number one search term is "web design Cheltenham", you should repeat it in all these areas on the home page. Just make sure the content still makes sense to site visitors!

You can include more search terms by adding new content, for example providing free advice about your area of expertise. It helps to update your website regularly as search engines see this as a sign of relevance.

SEO Review: Increase links

While search terms are important, you also need to improve the more general value of your website with links. If two websites are equally relevant for a particular search term but one site has 100 websites linking to it, while the other only has 5, then the first site is likely to appear much higher. Link building is a great way to improve an existing search engine ranking and get ahead of your competitors.

To see your current performance, enter your website address at Open Site Explorer (OSE) and you'll get a 'domain authority' out of 100. The higher your domain authority, the higher you will appear in search engine results. You can increase your domain authority by getting links from other websites, preferably those with a higher domain authority themselves.

Building links to your website will take time and you may prefer to use a specialist. You can get links by submitting to directories, adding comments to blogs or forum posts, or setting up profiles with social networking accounts like Facebook. You can submit your competitors' domains at OSE to find out where they're listed, or simply enter your target search terms into Google and try to find places where you can add a link.

The best way to get more links is to provide content that people want to read, so consider the free advice or resources you could offer. Adding "share" links to these pages will allow visitors to submit your page to their social networking account, so they'll do the link-building for you.

SEO Review: Improve conversion

Of course it's not just about getting visitors to the site. If you want to do better on search engines it's almost certainly because you want to generate leads or sales from your website, so it's equally important to look at how your website is performing. Ask yourself the following questions:

Is your design professional? It may be hard to quantify but a visitor's first impression can very quickly convince them to read on or leave your website. Something as simple as a pleasant colour scheme and consistent layout will make people more likely to trust you. Ask your customers and colleagues what they think, or try user testing with a company like What Users Do.

Are you using the best images? Use personal images over stock photography if you can (handshakes and people jumping in the air are to be avoided!). Pictures of your products, staff and customers are going to do a much better job of convincing visitors, but make sure they are good quality. Video works even better because it engages visitors and gives them a real sense of your business.

Do you have content from customers? It's absolutely essential to have customer testimonials about your product or service, and you can go further with detailed case studies, customer images or even video interviews.

Do you encourage action? You need to have a prominent phone number on every page, but you can also encourage visitors to get in touch with more specific prompts. Depending on your business, this could be "get a quote", "order a free sample" or "book a meeting". You should also offer "soft" contact options like social media or an email subscription.

Whatever changes you make, test your website against your goals. Think about the process visitors will follow before they take action, and how you can help them along. Use Google Analytics or similar software to track what people do and when your goals are met.

How we can help with your SEO

If you're not sure what you need, get us to carry out a free website review for you. We can also help improve your website or create a new one to get more visitors and better conversion.

One-off search engine services:
Detailed keyword research to find your best search terms £500 + VAT
Technical website review and recommendations for search engines £500 + VAT
Optimisation of individual pages for search terms (price based on 25 pages) £250 + VAT

Monthly search engine services:
Generate new links to your website (price based on 10 links) £100 + VAT per month
Pay-per-click management (price based on 100 keywords) £100 + VAT per month
Search engine ranking reports £25 + VAT per month

To improve your website conversion:
Installation and training of Google Analytics free tracking software £300 + VAT
User testing to get feedback on your current website £500 + VAT
Set up Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and basic content £250 + VAT
Email design and set-up with Campaign Monitor (third party costs) £500 + VAT